Almost a quarter (22 per cent) of UK adults have reported being approached by scammers offering free pension advice or a free pensions review, investment opportunities, or a tax refund in the last 3 months, research from Canada Life has discovered.
This was found to be up from the 19 per cent of those surveyed who offered the same response when this was previously asked in October 2020.
Canada Life’s research also examined how many people had been affected by scams over the previous 12 months, discovering that 56 per cent of UK adults reported knowing someone who had received suspicious communications.
The majority of the cases Canada Life discovered could be described as “phishing scams”, making up 57 per cent of the scams in the research.
Crypto scams were also found to be common with around 1 in 6 respondents saying that they or someone they know has received one in the last 12 months.
The research also examined the methods people were contacted by scammers, with emails proving the most popular method with 65 per cent of scammers using it, ahead of text messages (46 per cent) and cold calls (38 per cent).
Canada Life also found that scam victims are becoming younger, as while 21 per cent fell victim to scams or knew someone who had, this number rises to 39 per cent amongst those aged 18-34 years olds.
The research also found that 43 per cent of UK adults have become increasingly worried about scams, whilst 34 per cent say they do not know what services they can use to help protect themselves against this.
Canada Life technical director, Andrew Tully, commented: “Aspiring fraudsters will stop at nothing to separate innocent people from their hard-earned cash, sometimes using incredibly manipulative and sophisticated techniques which can easily catch you at an unguarded moment.
“Falling prey to a scam can be utterly devastating, not only for the individual involved but also for their family and friends. Futures and livelihoods can be snatched away in the blink of an eye so it’s essential we work harder as an industry to highlight where help and support can be found.
“Improved education on how to spot a scam and where to report them will also be essential if we are stand any hope in surmounting this scamming Everest.
“With families trying to make ends meet as the cost of living grows, an offer of money or easy access to your pension early might seem the perfect opportunity to dig yourself out of trouble – at face value.
“Sadly, it’s highly likely it will be scammers, so be aware and follow the simple rule of thumb – if it appears too good to be true, it inevitably is. Simply walk away, hang up, or delete the email or text.”